As a pediatrician for adults vaccinations are an important part of preventive medicine. Here is the breakdown of the vaccines that are recommended by the CDC and and explanation as to which ones are needed and why.
TDAP/TD (Tetanus Diphtheria and Pertussis):
This is a vaccination that is recommended every 10 years. Usually given initially in childhood it is recommended that that the vaccine is repeated every 10 years. This vaccination protects you from 3 bacteria: 1)Clostridium tetani which causes “lock jaw” or stiffening of other muscles that can lead to breathing difficulties or even death. 2) Clostridium diphtheria which can also cause difficulty breathing difficulty, paralysis and death 3) Bordetella pertussis which can cause “whopping cough”. Pregnant women and close family members are recommended to have an update of the vaccination to protect the newborn from peruses as infants are at an increased risk for a severe course from the organism.
MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella):
This vaccination is usually one that is given in childhood. If you are unsure and preparing for college physicals it’s likely colleges will want proof of vaccination or will want proof of immunization with titers. If your tigers show that you are not immune then you will need booster vaccinations.
Varicella and Shingrix:
If you were born before 1980 like myself then you may recall having the chicken pox. Those after 1980 likely received the Varicella vaccine which protects from chicken pox (also known as Varicella zoster which is a herpesvirus). Once infected zoster sits dormant in areas of our nerves where it can reactivate and cause shingles.
f you don’t recall if you’ve had the chicken pox or the vaccine, titers are a way to test if you have immunity. If you don’t have immunity then I do recommend having a conversation with your PCP about your vaccination options.
HPV Vaccine (Human Papilloma Virus):
Human Papilloma Virus has thousands of subtypes. There are several subtypes that are associated with 6 types of cancer: cervical, anal, oral, penile, vaginal, and vulvar cancer. The HPV vaccine ideally is given between 11-26 however can be given up to age 45.
Hepatitis A&B Vaccine:
Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B are the only hepatitis vaccinations that can be vaccinated against. Hepatitis A usually causes a minor self-limited illness and patients usually recover easily without any damage to their liver. Hepatitis B however can develop into a chronic infection and lead to liver cancer, liver failure, or worse.
If you are not sure if you have been immunized, ask your provider to check your lab work for confirmation.
Usually give. In childhood often boosters of the meningococcal vaccine are indicated for those at high risk for meningitis. Examples are those going off to college, those who have sickle cell disease, those whose spleen have been removed, etc.
Usually this is not considered a standard or routine vaccinations for those who have left their college days behind.
Pneumococcal Vaccine (Prevnar and Pneumovax):
Patients with asthma, COPD, interstitial lung disease, HIV, diabetes mellitus, chronic heart disease, chronic liver disease, and smokers should be considered for this vaccine.
A lot of people think that the pneumonia vaccine stops you from getting pneumonia but it actually protects you from some variations of the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae that can cause serious invasive infections that are severe and life threatening.
Haemophillus Influenza B:
Individuals who have medical illnesses like HIV, sickle cell, asplenia, cancer requiring chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or bone marrow transplant, or complement deficiency syndromes.
This vaccine is one that is recommended yearly. While many people feel that the vaccine is not necessary or feel that they get sick after the vaccine I recommend given the current pandemic that you reconsider and talk with your provider.
For more of my thoughts about this vaccine or any of the others check out my video “Adult Vaccinations” on YouTube.
Clinic moves at a fast pace. Every month my goal is to feature a topic that came up during my clinic or to discuss health topics that you are concerned about.
Disclaimer: I am a physician, but I am not your physician. The information on this website is for general informational purposes only and is not meant to substitute for medical advice. This website does not create an physician-patient relationship. The author is not liable for any illnesses, losses or damages related to actions of failure to act related to the content in this website. If you need specific medical advice, consult with your healthcare provider.